I did it.
I made it through the first year, a year that everyone told me would be difficult.
Holy smokes. Who is this lady?
Getting here wasn’t easy. I had to WORK at it. I thought I knew hard work before this- I was dead wrong. I was my own worst enemy, and I learned how hard I needed to fight my natural inclinations to see progress.
I can’t say I did it alone, nor would I want to take all the credit. I worked hard to make sure I had the right support team with doctors and such. That was to be expected and was my responsibility. But, there were those friends that really came through for me and reminded me in quiet moments that they were there with no expectations of anything in return. There were family members that supported me even though they were managing their own stressful lives back home. There is the supportive MS community, which has proven itself to include some of the most positive, resilient, and helpful group of people I could have ever imagined. My sweet, patient, and forgiving husband that literally and figuratively picked up the pieces.
January 3, 2018 marked one year from the day the Earth shifted underneath me. I was dreading the day, just as I had the year before. I mostly cut myself off from the world in the days and weeks leading up to it, in an effort to avoid something that might compound the dread. But, when yesterday came and went, I was only overwhelmed by one feeling.
I am thankful for the people I mentioned above. Thankful for the opportunity to really work on myself and become the person I am today. Thankful for the researchers, doctors, and nurses that work every day to help those with MS or other conditions. Thankful for science and medicine, for mental-health practitioners, for advocacy groups like the National MS Society. And thankful for the realization that life is for living, so I did so many YOLO things this year like meet the Backstreet Boys (!!!), go to Vegas, and travel to Hawaii again :).
I celebrate it all on my “re-birthday.”
There will likely be hard days to come, MS or not. I realize now that’s just part of life and nobody is spared from it. On January 3, 2017, I lacked any sense of confidence in my ability to manage these challenges and thought my life was over as I knew it. But on January 3, 2018 I found myself with a new-found confidence that I’ll get through whatever life throws my way. Last year’s tears of sorrow and fear were yesterday’s tears of gratitude and humility.
So long, 2017. Onward and upward in 2018. I’m ready for it.